The Fall of the House of Crane
by Articman on  8/12/2000:

Alistair Crane has repeatedly said that the truth behind Martin's Disappearance would bring down the Crane Empire. That no one can know the truth behind his disappearance, behind the imposter, behind 'That Night', the truth of any of it. That Luis may have to be killed to prevent him from finding the truth. That Sheridan would be sacrificed to protect the Crane Empire. Alistair has even told Julian that he, Julian, can go to jail for what they have done. That Alistair would see to it that he did if the truth came out.
What is it that poses such a threat to the Crane Empire? What did Martin know, say, do, have, that made it nessecary for Alistair to make him vanish? Why was it nessecary for Alistair to have a Martin imposter recruited? An imposter that was a physical match for Martin, right down to Martin's scars. What happened that made it nessecary for Martin to vanish and an imposter be recruited? Was Martin killed by accident?

In another post I raised the question about why an imposter was nessecary. I suggested that Martin owned or somehow controled a piece of land or property that was somehow essential to Crane Industries, to a business deal, land delevopment deal that their plans for the future were based on. This is based on the fact that Julian had documents in his safe tieing Martin to the Cranes and Crane Industries. Such documents would have been destroyed long ago, unless they were something that couldn't be destroyed. Such as, Leasing Agreements, Mineral Rights, Bills of Sale, Contracts, or Property Titles. Alistair may have needed the Faux Martin to sign these documents and the signing would have been witnessed and notarized. Meaning that the Faux Martin would have to be able to pass for Martin under close scrutiny. This would also explain why the imposter still looked like Martin appox. 15 years later, because the Cranes may still have needed him for something.

The question is: How would this bring down the Crane Empire?

First of all, the exposure of any criminal activities by the Cranes to close business deals would temporarily cripple the ability of Crane Industries to make deals and would put them in a poor bargining posture. This revealation could end any potential deals and cause the renegotiation of any deals that haven't been closed. In short, Crane Industries and the Cranes themselves would loose money.

This doesn't include the how the stockholders and various partners of the Cranes and Crane Industries will react. Alistair and Julian may loose control of Crane Industries for a time. Rivals in the Boardroom would move to gain greater control and influence.

Then you have the social implications. Just think of how the media and Alistair's enemies in it would react to this news. For a time, the Crane name would beome dirt. Think of how this would be played up. Alistair Crane, multi-billionare, Kidnapped, held, and perhaps even killed the husband of the Crane family's Housekeeper. A woman who is like a second mother to his daughter and to his grandchildren. He then stole, cheated her out of property, kicked her and her family off the Mansion's grounds, forcing her to work two jobs to pay the bills and keep her children clothed and feed. Her son gave up his dreams of college to support his Mother and his brother and sisters. How Alistair then used what he stole from Pilar to increase his wealth and prestige and that of his family, while leaving Pilar wondering what happened to her husband and in relative poverty. There is no way that the Cranes will come out of this looking good.

I can see many organizations that the Cranes are involved with trying to cut their ties to the Cranes. Just to protect their image. Julian and Ivy being asked to step down from their positions as board members of this charity or that hospital, from the Country Club. It would get very ugly, very fast.

Then you have the monetary concerns. If Alistair did cheat, steal property from the Lopez-Fitzgeralds and then used it in Crane Industries projects and deals. Making great profits from it and then using these profits to make more deals and investments. This would spread the taint of this theft throughout Crane Industries with each passing year and each deal closed using the profits from the land, property that was stolen. A piece of property worth thousands of dollars to Pilar when stolen, could be worth Millions of Dollars to Pilar and her family today. Because of its use by Crane Industries and the revenues it generated over the years and through deals based on it or the profits it generated and the profits these deals generated as well. Settling this would be a complex process and extremely expensive to the Cranes as well. The legal fees alone would be huge. Then you would have the settlement paid to Pilar and her family, which could make the Legal fees look like a pitence.

This is what I think Alistair is refering to as being the down fall of the Crane Empire if the truth about Martin ever comes out. It isn't the legal, going to jail consequences that he is concerned about. It is the Social, Economic, Political, and Monetary consequences that worries him. The blows to the Image, the Reputation, the Prestige, the Social Stature and the Influence of the Crane family and Crane Industries would be hard and with long lasting consequences. It could be years before they start regaining what was lost. Then there are the others that will making their moves to redress past wrongs by the Cranes, real or imagined. This could the worst of it, the begining of the end for the Cranes and their Empire. Spending years in legal battles with these people.

What do you think? How do you think the truth about 'That Night', about Martin and about the Imposter could bring down the Crane Empire?